Amos Oz on Gaza

There was a fine interview with Amos Oz on NPR this morning. Give it a listen.

The many Israelis who have been watching the conflict in Gaza include Amos Oz. The Israeli novelist is known as a dove. He co-founded a group called “Peace Now” in 1978. Yet, he tells Steve Inskeep that he initially supported Israel’s air strikes on Gaza.

Mr. OZ: In the long term, the only thing that will work for Israel and for the Palestinians is the unavoidable one and only political solution, which is a two-state solution. The Palestinians are in Palestine for the same reason for which the Norwegians are in Norway. It is their homeland, and they are not going away. The Israelis are in Israel for exactly the same reason, and they’re not going anywhere either. They cannot become one happy family, because they are not one, and because they are not happy, and because they are not even a family. They are two unhappy families. Now the good news — and there are some good news from the Middle East, although you people only get the bad news all the time. The good news is that the majority of the Israeli Jews and the majority of the Palestinian Arabs know now in their heart of hearts that in the end of the day there will be a partition and a two state solution.

… We know the way out. We don’t like this way out. It’s like a patient who has to undergo a painful surgery, an amputation. And dividing the country into two nation states is going to be like an amputation, both for the Israelis and for the Palestinians. But it has to be done, and it’s time for bold leadership on both sides to carry out this solution and to do what people know has to be done.

While you’re at it, this piece is worthwhile as well.

The fighting in Gaza has killed more than 600 Palestinians — many of them civilians. Col. Jim Hellis is chairman of the U.S. Army War College’s department of national security and strategy. He talks with Ari Shapiro about how the U.S. military factors in civilian casualties when assessing war strategy. Hellis says it’s a balance among legal, ethical and political concerns.

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